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In a recent Google Hangout I was asked “Can I use a storage unit of 10′ by 20′ for a recording and control room?” Alright we know from our discussions with acoustics that metal and glass are nasty so you’re going to have an exterior shell of metal and I don’t know what the storage facilities are like in this person’s area. But we have two storage facilities as a company here in Phoenix, Arizona and I wouldn’t put anything in them, I’m even leery of putting product in them. They rattle, they shake, they moan and they groan when it rains when the wind comes they leak, blow in and stuff like that.

So as a barrier material they’re horrible and you’d have to put so much acoustical treatment on the inside especially with a 10-foot width. If you came to me with a 10-foot width in your room, I’d tell you to find another room as that’s one of the worst dimensions that we can deal with on the width side. Height side it’s wonderful but on the width side it’s horrible so on the length side it’s unacceptable.

So not a good idea, well it’s a good idea because it’s pretty economical if you look at the rates for these storage places you can get a pretty nice size space for a small amount of money and I understand where this person is going. They want to get some space cheap and it’s pretty quiet I would imagine these storage facilities especially at night when nobody else is there. So great idea just really bad barrier and I think with the barrier the metal and everything would probably cause you more problems than you could ever try to figure out and deal with. So good idea just bad application.

Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.


  • Jason says:

    Can you recommend other places that are similar in terms of price and ability to play loud at nights? I also thought of using a storage space for recording and practicing (as my two bedroom house with two kids and a wife is just not cutting it). Im glad I saw this though, as it seems the acoustics would not be acceptable at all… I am really hoping to find an alternative.

    • Dennis Foley says:

      Jason, Find a location where your noise will not be an issue for individuals. I do not know your area, so you will have to locate away from people or build a structure that has the proper noise transmission structure.

  • If you are truly serious about a recording studio, a storage unit would not even enter your mind.
    Keep your sense of humor Dennis.

    • Dennis Foley says:

      D, Most storage facilities I have seen do not have a minimum barrier against noise. This may or may not be an issue. If noise is an issue then you will have to build the barrier against the noise. Remember that barrier technology to minimize noise transmission is 4-5 times the cost of absorption/diffusion treatment. You will also need to consider ceiling height since that variable is critical.

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